Wednesday, October 21, 2009

Ortega 120 [[Redondo Beach]]

My good friend Angela and I decided to try this Mexican restaurant in Redondo Beach called Ortega 120. We found it through the dineLA Restaurant Week and saw that since the week extended to today, we would try one of their set lunch meals.

When we got there, they told us that the Restaurant Week had been over for a few weeks now...Uh, I'm sorry, but no. Your restaurant is clearly listed to the end of this week. BUT, I'm not going to argue with you because you are still a nice server and I am hungry.

Although we didn't get the chance for a set meal, they did have three different $10 lunch specials. One was a three taquito dish (with three different meats), made with corn tortilla. Angela chose the three taco plate, which came with rice, beans, and their Ortega 120 house salad. The tacos were pollo, asada, and short rib, and were served with either corn or flour tortilla (Angela chose flour). The house salad was very summery, even though we're in October...however since we were by the beach and the weather was still nice enough that we could sit outside, it didn't really make a difference. Plus, this place looked like what my grandmother's house would look like if my entire family was hardcore Mexican.

Anyway, I digress. The Ortega 120 salad came with Red Leaf lettuce, roma tomato, red onion, cucumber, carrots, and cotija cheese. It was topped, uniquely enough, with pumpkin seeds, and drizzled with a cilantro vinaigrette.

Angela said that the meat was flavorful, although the asada was her favorite. Tender and juicy, it could be eaten with or without the tortilla. The pumpkin seeds really made a difference in the salad as it was a welcome--and unexpected--addition.

I basically forced Angela to pose with her food, thereby making this entry Awkward Eats-certified!
As for me, I chose the "Ortega 120 Classic," which included either the house salad or the Caesar salad (I chose the latter), which came with Ortega 120's own Caesar dressing, red onion, garlic croutons, and topped with cotija cheese. The dressing was light although it had a bit too much of an anchovy taste (or maybe they were a bit heavy handed with the Worcestershire sauce), but the garlic bread-y croutons were really the highlight of the salad. I could snack on those all day, they were so good. Not overly crunchy, with just the perfect amount of garlic butter. The meal also came with a tortilla soup, with shredded chicken, Oaxaca cheese, cilantro, and tortilla strips. It was advertised that there would be sliced avocados but either they forgot to serve it or I didn't taste it. I'm banking on the former because I would have been able to see the avocados at least. The soup was good, but nothing I haven't eaten before. There was a generous amount of chicken though, which is always good for me as I can live on a diet of chicken and chicken alone.

Before all the fun toppings

After all the fun toppings
Last, but not least, was my half torta (or sandwich for those uninitiated. haha). The choices were like those of the taco and of course I chose chicken. Shredded chicken with lettuce, tomato, and guacamole, sandwiched between two freshly toasted pieces of bread. Some of the soup had spilled over onto the plate, so the bottom of the sandwich was a bit soggy, which made it harder to eat what with the MESS FACTOR. However, the bread soaked up a lot of the soup/chicken broth essence, which actually enhanced the flavor of the bread.

For dessert, we split the churros, which Ortega 120 is well known for. It came with five bite size pieces of churro, flaky and warm with just a touch of cinnamon sugar. On one side was a dark chocolate dip, with a slight mint aftertaste, although it could also be a mint liqueur...I couldn't really put my finger on it. On the other side of the churros was a vanilla bean ice cream swirled with caramel sauce, which was pretty tasty. I'm not as big of a fan of chocolate as Angela is, so I think we both had our favorites.

Dark chocolate, churro log house, Vanilla ice cream swirled with caramel

Overall, lunch was a good time to come since each meal only cost $10 and we left full. Plus, they served fresh tortilla chips and a mild, hearty salsa.

Next time I come, I do want to try their burritos. The chorizo was really callin' my name.
Ortega 120 Restaurant and Cantina
1814 South Pacific Coast Highway
Redondo Beach, CA 90277

Monday-Thursday 11:30 am to 10pm Friday and Saturday 11:30 am to 11pm Sunday 10:30 am to 9 pm 310.792.4120 |

Saturday, September 12, 2009

deliciousness fast and cheap

Partly due to some mislabeled chicken thighs at Ralphs, I was able to buy our groceries this week for 12 dollars. Awesome. This also allowed me to finally try the Rick Bayless creamy salsa chicken recipe I first saw over at Mary Ellen's Cooking Creations.

The dish is as simple as it gets to make. Brush the bottom of a 9x13ish baking pan with oil and line with one layer of boneless, skinless chicken breasts (or thighs, in this case). Mix your choice of chunky salsa and heavy whipping cream and spoon mixture over the chicken. Bake at 400 degrees for 30 minutes on the bottom shelf.

The original recipe calls for one 16oz jar of salsa and 1/2 cup cream to make the salsa mixture, but this resulted in quite a bit of extra sauce. Next time I make it, I'll probably make only two-thirds or one half of the suggested amount.

I used about half Pace spicy chunky salsa and half Trader Joe's chipotle salsa. I loved the smokiness and complexity of the end result, but my husband found the chipotle a bit overpowering. Next time I'll likely use a more traditional salsa, but add jalapeños for kick.

For sides, I sauteed some zucchini with garlic and tomatoes, then topped with a little mozzarella cheese. We also had some mushrooms left over so I cooked them, also with garlic, in a little white wine. Finally, we still had some of that corn salad hanging around, and it was a refreshing and colorful addition to the plate.

My favorite thing about this meal is that it took only about 35 minutes to prepare. Yet it was flavorful and balanced. Yum. I am really starting to like this cooking thing.

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Various [Seattle]

I was supposed to write about my trip to Seattle in April when it happened, but much to Vivian's dismay, I waited until I could develop my film and then...forgot about it.

And yet five months later, I am still thinking about the food I had on that trip. I figure that's enough reason to finally finish this half-written entry.

By far the most memorable restaurant was
Thai Tom in the U District. It's a small place set up somewhat like a diner, so you can watch the chef make each dish as you wait for your order. Watching him juggle various curries, noodle, and meat dishes without burning himself was mesmerizing. I ordered the spicy noodles, "very spicy" as I stupidly told my waitress. I forgot that Thai spicy and regular spicy are different things. I also got the fried tofu, because seriously, who likes being healthy?

The tofu was good, but didn't quite have that crispy on the outside, creamy on the inside property of amazing fried tofu. I did however enjoy the peanut sauce that accompanied it, a slight variation from the usual. The spicy noodles, which came second, were fantastic. Every time I have ordered drunken or spicy noodles since then, I half-expect it to taste as this did. It never does. Everywhere else, the sauce provides the flavor, but at Thai Tom, the noodles seemed to carry all the flavors of the dish sans sauce. The only drawback was that I had ordered it "very spicy," and it was physically painful to eat towards the end. My tongue was numb for the next half day, but it was worth it!

The day I flew home, I went back to try another dish and take a terrible picture of it (success!). Based on a recommendation, I ordered the green curry off-menu, this time "medium spicy."And even though I'd had such a good meal there a few days earlier, I was surprised to be served with pretty much the best restaurant meal of my life. The flavors were bold, yet balanced, with a lot of spice and hints of creaminess. The chicken and veggies were delicious on their own; combined with the curry, they were amazing.

I've been on the lookout for a Thai restaurant that good in California with limited success. I'm hesitant to order curries in particular because they have tended to be either too mild or lacking in depth or both. I'm hopeful that I'll find one, or at least a good enough substitute to tide me over until my next trip.

I also stopped by
Ivar's, with its delicious fried seafood and terrifying resident seagulls. My cousin and I ordered fish and chips, fried clams, and clam chowder.

The fish was good and the clams excellent. The fries and clam chowder were just alright. I am all about those clams though. Mmm.

For breakfast, I went to
The Crumpet Shop, directly across from Pike's Place. What the eff is a crumpet, you ask? It's similar to a biscuit, but less fluffy, and topped with an assortment of sweet or savory toppings.

My crumpet was topped with just Nutella and ricotta cheese. Along with an Earl Grey tea, it made a very delicious breakfast. I would definitely recommend a visit to try one of the many variations of this treat.

Finally, my half sister Christine treated me to a wonderful lunch at
Matt's in the Market, of which I have no pictures. I ordered a braised beef brisket sandwich on a brioche bun with arugula and horseradish aioli (weirdly specific ingredient description taken from the website). The beef was tender and flavorful, the bread rich, the aioli perfectly seasoned. It's a bit pricey, but the quality of ingredients and preparation explain the extra cost.

The fact that my few meals in Seattle are among the better ones I have had anywhere says a lot about the food in that city. I barely scraped the surface of what is available and still came away with some amazing finds. It's the kind of place that demands to be visited again and fully explored.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

hold on guys i have to tape up the bridge in my glasses

Graduate school in economics begins with two to three weeks of at the end of summer called "math camp." Yeah. Attending it seems like enough to reserve my seat at the nerd table in the cafeteria, but by bringing my kinda-adorable-but-mostly-dorky bento box lunches, I also stand out as the kid with the most unwieldy rolly backpack of them all.

That said, I can't afford a trip to the dining hall or Ernie's taco truck (post forthcoming!) every day. So I will continue to make my dorky yet affordable and healthy lunches at home.

The bottom tier contains green grapes and cubes of extra sharp cheddar cheese. The top tier holds a corn salad made with red bell pepper, tomato, onion, cilantro, lime, and a lot of salt and pepper. I didn't have any cumin on hand but it would have been a great addition.

We have a lot of that corn salad because for some reason, Jacob and I thought buying twelve ears of corn for two people was a good idea. Another miscalculation turned delicious...the salad is great by itself, as a pizza topping, or as a filling for quesadillas.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Spoon House [[Gardena]]

So I have been to Spoon House in Gardena a few times now but never thought to write about it for Awkward Eats. However, writing it now gives us (me and you, dear reader) sort of an advantage as now I've tried more than one dish, and can talk with more ~experience.~

Spoon House is a little bistro on a street corner, flanked with an open kitchen and wall to wall windows, framed a primary blue. Basically, a great open and clean area. What's so special about this place is the fusion of Italian (spaghetti) and unconventional Japanese flair. Think, cod roe spaghetti, garnished with squid and seaweed (one of their most popular dishes and if you like your pasta dish to be a bit drier, I recommend it). In addition, their spaghetti is made al dente, which is the best as I feel al dente pasta clings to sauce better.

So whether you come in for lunch or dinner, the waitress will serve you and your guests a fresh quarter loaf of French bread, made inhouse (and also sold by the loaf for only $3!):

It's tempting to just eat this and get full because it's so fluffy and flavorful. I wish I had this every day so I can eat it with some Brie or Camembert cheese...or make the best sandwiches...but alas, great pasta awaits!

A famous dish is actually the salad not only because it's a delicious treat, but because it's only $1. It was and always is $1. Topped with tomatoes and sliced cucumbers, it really hits the spot when it's hot outside (like it has been this entire week). The sauce is Japanese style--a little salty but definitely tasty.

My brother Tim got the Spaghetti Omelette, which was a cheese-based red sauce spaghetti, topped with a thinly fried egg. The spaghetti is mixed with cut bell peppers, mushroom, and chicken (although you can exchange the chicken for bacon).

While the idea of an egg on top of a pasta dish may raise a few eyebrows, it actually tasted great, almost like "Yeah, why WOULDN'T you put an egg on top of this?" If you're not looking for too much sauce, this is for you.

As for me, I ordered the Chicken, Tomato Cream sauce spaghetti, which is exactly what it is...but with the addition of a few broccoli and mushrooms. If you like cream of anything (like me), this is definitely the dish for you. Tender cuts of chicken (mostly from the thigh), sweet tomatoes, and fragrant broccoli, this dish is as hearty as you can get.

What I love about Spoon House, besides the innovative dishes, is how HUGE the servings are. I didn't even finish mine before I was already full (I rarely finish a dish here...but it may be because I eat so much bread beforehand...can't help it!). And again, the pasta made al dente really just grabs that sauce.

So if you're looking for a hearty memorable pasta dish for under $9, go to Spoon House. It's a small place so there may be a wait, but boy is it worth it.

Spoon House Bakery & Restaurant
1601 W Redondo Beach Blvd

Gardena, CA 90247
(310) 538-0376
Mon-Sun.: 11:00 AM - 9:00 PM

Friday, August 28, 2009

in which even cupcakes are awkward

I'm starting grad school next week, and living off my stipend means the focus of my posts will shift from eating out to cooking. It should be apparent from this post, though, that you shouldn't expect expert creations captured by some fancy SLR. I mean, just look at these cupcakes.

If those aren't the saddest, most awkward looking cupcakes you have ever seen, then you are lying.

Luckily, they tasted alright. I made them pretty soon after finding them over on Proceed with Caution, because, are you kidding me? S'mores cupcakes? How is that not the greatest idea on the planet?

I did halve the recipe and did all of the math in my head, because as we all know baking and imprecision go hand in hand. I believe this is why they turned out good, but not as epic as I had hoped. The icing, awesomely made of marshmallow creme, butter, and sugar, didn't hold too well but tasted great. If I make these again, I will add more (dark?) chocolate chips to the graham crust and be more precise with the batter measurements.

S'mores Cupcakes

Yields 30 cupcakes

For the graham crust:
1/4 cup sugar
1 1/2 cups graham cracker crumbs (from about 20 squares)
1/3 cup unsalted butter, melted
1/2 - 1 cup bittersweet chocolate chips

For the cupcakes:
2 cups sugar
1 3/4 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup Hershey's cocoa
1 1/2 tsp baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp salt
2 eggs
1 cup milk
1/2 cup vegetable oil
2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup boiling water

1. Heat oven to 350°F. Grease muffin cups or line with paper liners.
2. Combine 1/4 cup sugar,graham cracker crumbs and melted butter in a small bowl. Spoon 1 tablespoon of graham cracker mix into the bottom of each muffin cup. Press crumbs firmly, using the bottom of a small glass. Save the remaining mixture for topping. Top graham cracker mix with several bittersweet chocolate chips.
3. Bake graham mixture for about five minutes, or until the edges are golden brown. Remove from oven and set aside.
4. Stir together sugar, flour, cocoa, baking powder, baking soda and salt in medium bowl.
5. In a large bowl, combine eggs, milk, oil and vanilla. Stir until well blended.
6. Add flour mixture to large bowl and beat on medium speed of mixer 2 minutes. Stir in boiling water (batter will be thin). Pour batter into prepared pans. Fill prepared muffin cups 3/4 full with batter (about 1/4 cup). Sprinkle batter with small amount of remaining graham cracker mixture.
7. Bake 22 to 25 minutes. Cool completely, then frost.

Marshmallow Buttercream Frosting
Hello, Cupcake! via Heather Drive / Proceed with Caution

- 1 container (16 oz.) Marshmallow Fluff
(I used Jet Puffed Marshmallow Creme instead since Fluff wasn't available)
- 3 sticks unsalted butter, softened and cut into 1-inch pieces
- 1 tsp. vanilla extract
- 1/2 cup confectioner's sugar, plus additional sugar, if necessary

1. Spoon the Marshmallow Fluff into a large bowl. Beat with an electric mixer on low.

2. Gradually add the butter pieces, beating well after each addition, until smooth.

3. Add the vanilla extract and the confectioner's sugar. Scrape the bowl well to incorporate. Add more confectioner's sugar, if necessary, to adjust the texture.

ice cream cake is the way to my heart

It's been deathly hot here in Southern California and I've been tempted to make ice cream. However, I don't have an ice cream maker and the heat has made me too lazy to actually get all SCIENCE (ice + salt, anyone?) to make it that way.

However, looking at other people making their own ice treats has motivated me.

Here are two ways to beat the heat:
The first comes from CRAFT blog, via Élena Nazzaro:
The second comes from the blog Posie Gets Cozy, on how to make your own homemade mint ice cream, for that extra burst of coolness:

2 cups half-and-half
1 cup heavy cream
2 cups fresh mint leaves, washed and bruised
1 14-oz. can sweetened, condensed milk
2 teaspoons vanilla
About 1 1/2 oz. of chopped dark chocolate

In large saucepan, stir half-and-half together with heavy cream. Add mint leaves and bring just to a simmer. Let simmer for three minutes, then remove from heat. Let mint leaves sit in cream mixture for fifteen or twenty minutes, depending on how minty you like things and how strong your mint is. Strain mixture into a bowl, discarding mint leaves. Stir sweetened, condensed milk into cream mixture until it is dissolved. Add vanilla and chill mixture for at least an hour (most recipes tell you to chill your cream mixture for several hours, but we didn't have that kind of time and it still worked out fine — but if you have the time, do it, since you want this mixture to be very cold).
Freeze ice cream in your ice-cream maker according to manufacturer's directions. When the ice cream is thickened and frozen, add chopped chocolate and stir well. Transfer the soft ice cream to a freezer-safe container and freeze for several hours, until hardened.

Mouthwatering! Tell us your favorite ice cream treats!

Monday, August 10, 2009

Ramen California (Torrance)

There has been much hype about this little ramen shop in the Torrance Crossroads Plaza. My friend Shazia and I decided to try it out to see, firsthand, if it lived up to its glorious-ness. For fun, I also brought my brother because three dishes is always better than two.

Ramen California boasts an all-organic, all local fare. Their menu tells us that they visit the Torrance farmer's market twice a week for their groceries, which is pretty admirable.

Unfortunately, there were only a handful of different ramen dishes to choose from, as all the fancy small dishes and appetizers were only served during dinner (lobster ravioli, Parmesan bread sticks, etc.). However, I was a little confused as to why a ramen place would serve un-ramen like things...Granted, it is a California "fusion" restaurant...but still. The decor was what you imagined a "California" bougie place to look like: ambient lights, large windows, and wood furniture.

Anyway, each ramen comes in three sizes: a small (which I think only a child could eat and be full: 15 ounce), a regular (20 ounce), and a large (40 ounce). When our waitress showed us the bowls ("A small is really really small. Maybe you should look at the bowl sizes..."), a regular looked like it'd be perfect. However, after a few minutes of finishing, we were still pretty hungry.

We started off with a fresh salad of spinach, garnished with a little flower. The flower was a nice touch and the salad quite refreshing. I did wish they put just a liiiiitttle more salad dressing as I could barely taste it after a few bites. From what I could discern, though, it was a subtly sweet vinaigrette--always welcome.

My brother, Tim, decided to get the restaurant's signature dish, the "Californian." The menu boasted that this dish had more than twenty different "garden fresh" vegetables, no doubt all from the Farmer's market nearby.

Apperance-wise, it looked to be a bounty of vegetables. Each vegetable tasted great, carefully cooked before being placed on a giant spoon on top of the ramen.

I loved the way that the beets and and cauliflower pop out and stain the broth.
Shazia chose the heirloom tomato ramen. The menu described this dish as topped with a "tomato salsa" although it was less salsa and more...tomato. What I mean is, they were whole tomatoes, which actually may be better. The tomatoes were cooked really well, with a hint of spice.

Shazia with her salad and Heirloom tomato ramen.
As for me, I got the Grilled Chicken ramen, supposedly sprinkled with garden vegetables (at least that's what the menu said).

And by vegetables, they really mean mint and spinach.

All ramen dishes have the option of adding chicken for a few dollars more, and I would really recommend it if you're a meat-lover (as this is the only meat least during lunch). The chicken was quite tender and flavorful but I really wish there was more chicken in my ramen.

All three dishes used the same broth and noodles. Although the noodles were quite good (cooked al dente), the soup left MUCH to be desired. I will be honest and admit that I was expecting a tonkotsu (pork) broth instead of a chicken broth. The chicken broth, when tasted by itself, was a bit jarring as it really just tasted like chicken noodle soup...but with ramen. In addition, the more I ate, the saltier the broth tasted until it was almost like I was just eating salt with hot water.

I will give Ramen California props for being innovative (they had a "Masala" ramen, topped with curry, and Reggiano Cheese Tofu ramen, made in house) and for using locally grown vegetables. Overall, it was an OK experience. Next time I have a hankering for ramen though, I'll just pop over to Hakata Ramen over in Gardena. However, if I do go to Ramen California again, I'd go during dinner time to sample the different innovative dishes.

Ramen California
24231 Crenshaw Blvd. #C
Torrance, CA 90505
(310) 530-2749

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Kogi BBQ [everywhere in L.A.]

We admit, we dropped the ball here. I mean, understandable though, right? Andi sort of has an excuse, what with getting married and all (Congrats!!!)...and well, I guess my graduating and spending most of my days pondering my question mark of a future, we just forgot to update this little blog of ours.

I was supposed to write about the Kogi Korean BBQ/Taco truck a while ago (like, end of May maybe?) but totally slacked off. I am the worst.

But anyway, better late than never! I'm not going to say much about it, as a LOT has already been said about this elusive taco truck/korean bbq hybrid. For those not in the know, the Kogi truck is a roaming taco truck with a twist! Instead of the usual carne asada and whatevs, it's marinated meats (and tofu), Korean style. Um, talk about genius! The most interesting part is, since it's a taco truck, it is not in the same place every day. You can follow it on twitter (ew) or like me, look at their schedule on their website.

Their reputation is HUUGE, though, so expect a really long wait any given moment. I think I waited for an hour just to order.

Anyway, I ordered two different tacos: Korean chicken and beef. Each one is $2, which is a bit pricey. Although novel, the corn tortillas kind of overpower everything else. All I tasted was corn and spicy. I know "spicy" is not a taste, but whatever.

Beef on the left, chicken on the right.

The burrito (Korean Chicken BBQ) was $5 but really huge and surprisingly better than the tiny tacos. The chicken was well represented, and to my delight, the cheese really went well with the chicken. Although also a little spicy, it wasn't as predominant as the tacos. Next time, I'll probably get the burrito again.

They also had a bevy of other things, most notably a Korean BBQ-style quesadilla. This was also $5, and for cheese, meat, and tortilla...I didn't think it was worth the dinero.

All in all, it's a fun thing to try as a roaming taco truck that you have to track down is kind of an adventure in itself (but maybe not awkward?). However, the prices, and the sort of disappointing taste of the tacos makes this meal just OK. Of course, they change their menu all the time--maybe I just have to find my perfect dish.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

wurstküche in downtown l.a.

Andi and I really really wanted to try this fairly new sausage place in downtown L.A. I had heard about it while browsing on-line looking for an adequate sausage place to satisfy my love of Berlin sausages. Although Andi wasn't able to join me in this Awkward Eats adventure, my friend Kyle came along.

The sausages weren't what I ate while I was in Berlin. These were bigger, heartier, and more Americanized. Still good, but different.

The menu of sausages is divided into three categories, each pricier than the next: "Classics" (a few vegetarian options, and of course the bratwurst), "Gourmet" (three different meats: chicken, turkey, and pork in different combinations and flavors), and "Exotic" (duck+bacon, rabbit+veal+pork, alligator+pork, and rattlesnake+rabbit anyone?). Sausage prices range from $6 to $7.75 and are served on fresh rolls with (if you want): caramelized onions, sweet peppers, spicy peppers, or sauerkraut.

And of course, what German sausage place is it without some beer? Wurstküche houses 24 beers on tap, ranging from $8 and above. The cheapest is of course, PBR, which was still $2.

Here, Kyle indulges in some Pabst.
Kyle decided to be adventurous and also tried the Underberg (the tiny bottle on the left), a German digestif bitter made with herbs. Although this bottle is super small, it is 44% abv. Appearances can be deceiving, no?

Even more adventurous was Kyle's choice of sausage. I believe that a sausage place can only be as good as their bratwursts and so for my first time, I decided to eat the OG of sausages. Kyle, on the other hand, got the rattlesnake and rabbit with jalapeno sausage. Although it sounds way crazy, Kyle said that it didn't taste like anything too out of the ordinary. Delicious and filling, but not "weird."

We also tried the Belgian fries with sun dried tomato mayo. There were a lot of different dipping sauces to choose from, but this one sounded tasty at that moment. The mayo was not heavy or too thick and the sun dried tomatoes weren't too salty either. It was the perfect, light complement to the fries.
Obviously, the food is the main focus here.
Kyle's sausage and the Belgian fries with dipping sauce.
And my bratwurst. The roll was very soft and moist. I choose to adorn the sausage with sweet peppers, which added some crunch to the meal. I could taste the spices and herbs of the sausage, but it wasn't overbearing, which was also good.
What's funny about a place like Wurstküche is that it's just so...hip. Not only did we wait in line for a good half hour with a lot of hipper-than-thou Angelenos in their 20s and 30s, but there was a...wait for it. A DJ, spinning tunes from The Bird and the Bee to Radiohead to Hot Chip to M.I.A. It was strange but also entertaining. Hipster sausage place...and only half a mile from The Smell.

Although it is a really delicious place to eat (and filling!), it is sort of pricey for a sausage. I would go there again, just maybe not as often as I would like.
800 E 3rd St
Los Angeles, CA 90013

Phone: (213) 687-4444

Sunday 12pm -midnight
Monday-Wednesday 11 am-midnight
Thursday-Saturday 11 am-midnight (soon to be expanded to 2 am)

Thursday, May 14, 2009

bostonian restaurant (langham place)

The Bostonian Restaurant in Langham Place - Hong Kong is a really fancy schmancy restaurant serving American fare. This restaurant has been in "The Hong Kong Best Restaurant Guide" since 2000, serving up seafood (like Boston lobster) and an extensive list of very good wine.

If you want a set lunch, you get an appetizer buffet (baked oysters and clams, various pâtés, salad, etc.), an entrée, a dessert, and coffee or tea. They also have different entrées to choose from if you opt out of the set lunch--although it is the better choice, price-wise.

We start off with some home-made fresh bread. Basically they give you a small loaf with marmalade and butter. The crust is crunchy and flakey without being too hard while the actual bread is very soft and moist.
Next, the entrée. I didn't want too heavy of a meal (like the roast of the day or braised lamb shank, or the sage and apricot filled pork fillet), so I chose the baked salmon with Gruyere herb crust.
Although the salmon was baked, it was still very juicy and when you cut it, the salmon just falls into slices. The spinach underneath was also really delicious. A hint of butter without being too salty, and a springy crunch to it too. MY DESCRIPTIONS: SO FULL OF WIN. The spinach underneath, along with the ginger butter sauce, really complemented the salmon.

To end, dessert!
I choose the toffee vanilla timbale with caramelized pineapple. Timbale is usually not a dessert item, but this time, I suppose because of the mold-shaped, it is. The toffee was not as strong as I had expected, so with the vanilla (which wasn't very strong either), it made for a very mild dessert. The caramelized pineapples were too sweet, but the juices of the pineapple, coupled with the dessert itself, was perfect.

My grandmother ordered (well my uncle ordered for her) the baked pear and almond tart with Grand Marnier cream.
She didn't finish it, so I ate half of hers (lulz). I think I liked mine more, but that is because I wasn't in the mood for tarts. It was still pretty delicious, without being too sweet.

And to end, a cappuccino.

Total for my meal: HK$268.00 (which is about $35 USD)
Basically, for a "fancy" meal, it's not too bad.

The Bostonian Restaurant in Langham Place
8 Peking Road, Tsimshatsui, Kowloon, Hong Kong

Opening hours
Monday to Sunday: 12:00 noon -- 3:00pm & 6:30pm -- 11:00pm
Public Holiday: 6:30pm -- 11:00pm

Reservations: (852) 2375 1133 ext. 2070